by Bianca Franks, 2010-2012 Salesian Leaders Cohort Member
Greetings ! I am a single mother and member of the Northside community, having had a close relationship with the Visitation Sisters ever since I was a preteen. I have become heavily involved in volunteer work in the community with them over the past 5 years. I was invited to be a part of a Salesian leadership training program they were having which took place over the past two years. I went into this not really sure what to expect other than wanting to grow as a positive contributor in North Minneapolis.
“What makes a good leader isn’t always the outcome of perfection or winning, but positively changing lives as a demonstration of the God in me…”
The 1st year I met and befriended other likeminded leaders in the community and we focused on strategies and guidance in our individual projects (mine being a single parent support group). We shared our lives and aspirations with one another and have supported one another on personal and professional levels, facing the reality of successes and failures in a way that those close to us wouldn’t understand.
“…to lead you must follow humbly.”
In the 2nd year of training I was pleasantly surprised that the focus was less strategic and more spiritual, teaching us leaders the importance of complete wholeness within you as a way of guiding and following. Upon completion of this amazing journey I know we all walk away tearfully and with a smiling heart because we have come full circle from who we were, and closer to who God has deemed us to become in the Gospel.
My personal and spiritual growth over the past two years is amazingly unexplainable; I have learned to always trust in God, accept my faults, embrace my failures, and never give up. What makes a good leader isn’t always the outcome of perfection or winning, but positively changing lives as a demonstration of the God in me, and to lead you must follow humbly. If I had to sum it all up I would say my focus used to be the destination and in that there was never any satisfaction or gratitude because I never seemed to get there. My focus is now my spiritual journey as I walk the road I’ve chosen, and if I can share that part of the experience with anyone, the leader in me has achieved a goal higher than I could ask for.